If You Are Trying to Raise Mr. or Mrs. Independent, Read This!

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I mentioned in a previous blog, Why My Three Year Old Has Chores. Instilling confidence in Kian will allow him to want to try new things. At three, every toddler is probably trying to insert their independence and show you how big they are and how much they can do.

This is the age when they start to do funny little things and ask, Can you do that? They are already trying to stand out and be recognized for more than your baby.

Kian asked me for a jelly sandwich the other day and I thought “sure”. But I asked him if he would like to prepare the sandwich himself.  He lit up and said “yes!”.

They are learning, every step of the way

Kian learned to take the bread out, grab a safe butter knife, ask for help with the jar of jam (carrying & opening it), scooping out the jam, and spreading it over his slice of bread. Then he asked if he could decorate it like Mr. Grilled Cheese! I wrote a blog titled  Food Art Is Great Fun But Most of All It’s Easy Peasy and explained the weird look I received from Kian when I presented him with Mr. Grilled Cheese. And now, here we were… he not only remembered that I did that for him but he wanted to make his own version and call it Mr. Jelly Sandwich. So awesome!

Mr. Jelly Sandwich

Our children can do it

So, we got the grapes out, I helped him cut out the eyes and nose and he was fully responsible for the creation. No help from mom… “I can do it” were his exact words.

And you know what? He- CAN DO IT.

It’s important that we slowly ooze into allowing our children to help, and make decisions, and do for themselves. This does a number of things besides instilling independence. It also makes them feel important, it lets them know they matter, and it makes them feel good about themselves which in turn builds confidence.

Children can help with almost anything, if we allow them to

Try involving your children in the normal day-to-day tasks around the house. Everything is a learning experience for a toddler, take advantage and maximize these mundane tasks into quality time with your children.

A few examples would be, taking the clothes out of the dryer, maybe even folding, polishing the furniture, sweeping, rinsing dishes, setting the table, picking up, puling out weeds, planting, making lunch, baking, helping to find a location (“let me know when you see Target”), carrying groceries, cleaning up spills, and the list goes on and on. You can involve your children in some way in almost every task that you do.

Disclaimer: You might have to revisit and redo a lot of the things they “helped” with.  But it’s okay. The time you’re spending with them and how much they are learning is well worth it. You have to be okay with letting things go for the greater good. And there is nothing better than when you involve your child and then hear them use something they picked up while helping you with the chores, in another setting. Our children pick up fast and run with it!

Just the other day, Kian and I baked cupcakes, and when everyone was eating them and complimenting how yummy they were, he began to run through the list of ingredients that went into making the delicious cupcakes. It was so cute and frankly I was impressed.

Fifteen minutes go a long way with our children

Our time with them doesn’t always have to be in huge dosages or isn’t limited to play time. Even fifteen minutes while you’re rinsing dishes, talking, and teaching is invaluable.

P.S. Kian asked for another jelly sandwich and also prepared it himself. So cool.

Thank You for Reading!

(Listening to: I’ll Never Love- Michael Kiwanuka)

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